On my early morning walk today (if you can call 9 a.m. early), I was surprised at the flowering of so many trees in our development. Spring always surprises me. It’s here already! I guess I’m still used to Albany weather, which is probably two or three weeks behind Maryland’s. Time passes too quickly for me these days. My self-imposed workload never seems to diminish and my dance card for the coming months is getting filled in. Here are the highlights:
- I’ll be leaving for my first trip to Israel April 5. It will be a two-week adventure. Jude elected to say home. So, I’m traveling with my younger brother, Steve––a great opportunity for us to spend time together since we’ve had few such opportunities since I left for college in 1961. We’ll be touring all the major places, starting with two nights at a cousin’s house. I’m interested in learning how my cousin (who was born in Columbia South America) and his large family view things––both in Israel and in the world at large.
- Before I go, I hope to finish drafting the final pages of a projected 1,000-page young adult epic fantasy that I’ve been working on since 2005. I’ll be offering that book to agents when I get back to Maryland, starting at the Washington Independent Writers Conference, April 30th.
- I’ve put aside the current version of Inauguration Day, a thriller I worked on most of last year. When I get the time, there are two or three problems that need to be addressed. I’ve set this book in the future, but technology is moving so rapidly I’m concerned the book will suffer from too many obvious anachronisms unless I devote some time to researching what’s coming in areas such as no-hands vehicles for example.
- I’m looking for opportunities to talk about writing and do signings during the coming summer in upstate NY. If you can facilitate an event with a writers’ group, book club, bookstore, library, etc. please let me know. I’ll also be writing a monthly column about writing for LateLastNightBooks.com. The first one won’t appear until I get back from Israel.
- For those who are interested in following my iconoclastic thinking about things political––domestic and international, I’ll be writing an occasional column for an online Jewish publication called The Algemeiner (algemeiner.com). For a flavor of my political posts, see PollaksPolitics.com. Here’s a list of some recent posts you might have missed:
- “How do we explain Brussels?” My thesis: The ability of radical Islamic jihadists to inflict so much harm in Europe and elsewhere is in part due to a policy of tolerance.
- “The Crisis at Oberlin College” My thesis: Discovery of anti-Semitic social media posts by an Oberlin professors exposes how the mission of college education has been turned upside down––from teaching students how to think in my day to teaching them what to think today.
- “The Elite Class in America: Explaining Trump” My thesis: America is ruled today by an elite class of people whose ideology justifies their imposing greater and greater controls over the lives of the average citizen. Trump’s supporters are not immune to his deficiencies; they just don’t see anyone else speaking on their behalf.
- I’m looking forward to three events this summer: (1) My 55th high school reunion, (2) the annual golf tournament at the Lake Pleasant Golf Course to benefit the Nathan Littauer Hospital which runs our local clinic, and (3) the annual concert at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center to benefit the synagogue in Gloversville. Hope to see many of you at one or more of these events.